No odd requests from Petty

Steve
Steve Bartlett
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Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers play Mile One June 2 and 3. - Submitted photo

He's wanted some unique things in the past, but Tom Petty isn't asking for anything off the charts when he performs in St. John's.

Promoter David Carver told The Telegram Friday he has received the rocker's rider for the June 2 and 3 concerts, and says "there's nothing out of the ordinary on it, to be honest."

Riders are an artist's technical and hospitality requests and, according to ones posted on thesmokinggun.com, they often contain requests that could be termed bizarre, diva-like or outlandish.

Elton John, for example, has demanded a "large arrangement of colour flowers (NO chrysanthemums, lilies, carnations or daises)."

Iggy Pop has asked for Marshall bass amplifiers, and they had to be good "or we'll all end up as wormlike web-based life forms in the bass player's online literary diahorrea (sic)."

And then, of course, there's the most famous rider of all: Van Halen's 1982 request for "M&Ms (WARNING: ABSOLUTELY NO BROWN ONES)."

Petty has previously made demands that would be unique to St. John's and hard to find here.

In a 2002 rider - also found on thesmokinggun.com - he asked for Hebrew National Hot Dogs and Buns, a kosher product only available in the United States.

As well, he wanted dinner of fresh grilled white fish like "catfish, grouper, tilapia, orange ruffy, etc."

And he requested Bass Ale, a British beer no longer stocked on the shelves of Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corp. stores.

What's also noteworthy about Petty's multi-page 2002 rider is the amount of food and beverage, including regional fruit where possible, heavy whipping cream, and bottles of "very good" red wine.

The demands are not just for him - they take care of the folks working behind the scenes, too. He asks for "takeaway food from local restaurants for aftershow food" for crew buses.

The artist behind songs like "Refugee" and "The Waiting" was also demanding about dinner cutlery. "In no case are plastic or styrofoam cups, utensils, plates, etc. to be used for dinner," the document states in all capital letters.

Carver didn't disclose details about the rider for Petty's upcoming performances. However, he did make a general comment.

"I have always found the backstage catering riders to be more than reasonable," he said in an email. "I have also found that most artists are interested in, and request a local specialty, which in Atlantic Canada is obviously lobster, salmon, oysters, mussels, scallops, etc."

Bill Thistle, Mile One Centre's general manager, also spoke generally about rider requirements.

He said promoters often task the venue with fulfilling some of the artist's demands and sometimes products are hard to find or unavailable.

"We do the best we can (to find an agreeable substitute)," Thistle said.

Carver - who has worked with the likes of Bob Dylan, Celine Dion and Metallica - said he has never experienced a situation where an artist wasn't willing to make a substitution, "especially when they know they will be treated to some of the best seafood in the world."

Petty did not respond to a direct message sent to him via Twitter. (He often replies to reporters that way.)

sbartlett@thetelegram.com Twitter: @bartlett_steve

Organizations: Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor

Geographic location: St. John's, United States, Atlantic Canada

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  • Liberty
    January 08, 2012 - 22:41

    I'm a Tom Petty fanatic, and I can tell you, with respect, that the thesomkinggun.com rider was, in fact, false, and 89% of all Tom Petty fanatics on his forum will tell you so. Neat article though... That's crazy about the Van Halen M&Ms. I heard that before though, I thought it was Kiss. :P